Friday, June 29, 2007


Dagan and Leah stopped by about 5pm last night. Brought back the craft supplies that Leah's group used. Showed me the floor plan that Leah designed. Then they left here and went to meet with the contractors at 6pm---and signed the contract!! They should be in their new home before the snow flies!! How exciting! It is finally happening!

Dagan and Leah are going to put the flooring in themselves--except for the carpeted areas. They'll do the tile and bamboo flooring--and tile both the bathrooms. They are going to go to the free classes that Lowe's and Home Depot have. I know they will do a good job.

They've had a lot picked out and on hold for quite a while. Going to build in south Moorhead in a new development area--looks like the 'burbs of Minneapolis. So happy for them!!

That's the big news of the day!! Can't seem to think of anything else to say--hehe! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Finally finished another page spread of the EDM challenges!

Yesterday Dagan came by over lunch and switched my DVD players for me (bedroom and living room). The one in the living room was skipping. I cleaned it with both the cleaners I have--or tried to--and it still skipped. Played just fine on the bedroom one. So--Dagan switched them for me. :)

Leah came by after work with a load of acrylic painting supplies. Then she took a load of craft supplies with her (glue, scissors, punches, etc). Her Shaklee group (three ladies from work) are meeting twice a month now and they were going to work on making Vision Books last night. Fun! I could have gone, but I didn't want to push the arm since it is just about back to normal.

Leah said she'd try to bring the craft stuff back tonight and some more acrylic supplies.

I watched Bridge to Tarabithia yesterday. Was okay, I guess. Not what I expected--more depressing and kind of weird.

New classmate Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb) unlocks a world of fantasy and imagination for fifth-grader Jesse Aaron (Josh Hutcherson) in this magical adventure based on Katherine Paterson's best-selling book. Rivals at first, the two outcasts eventually become friends and create the make-believe kingdom of Terabithia, where they reign supreme and plot vengeance against the school bullies. Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick also star.

Was supposed to be nice out today and it is very dark and cloudy. Cooled off, that's for sure--61 degrees right now! One day it is too hot and muggy to be outside at all and the next I need a sweater to sit on the porch and read. I am going to throw on my big grey sweater (that I drew) and start book number six of the Dark Tower series on the porch. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Actually got out the sewing machine yesterday and fixed the elastic straps on my lap desks.

They were so loose that they were useless. Shortened them up and they are working again.

I had called Monday about the dryer (I rent) smelling like hot rubber. The maintanence man showed up yesterday. Not too prepared. He borrowed my flashlight and then had to leave to go get his tools. Wouldn't you think to bring tools with you?

He was here for quite a while and took the entire dryer apart. Guess what it was? A Bounce sheet caught up someplace...??? Never heard of that! I guess it is fixed. I'll find out next time I wash clothes, I guess.

After I put the sewing machine away, I set up the table for painting and played around off and on for the rest of the day.

Was experimenting on drawing smaller (card size), trying out the smaller brushes, using shades of ink from black to grey, and even attempted drawing bamboo a couple of times.

The old weights I used for sewing worked great! I purchased the set of six that remind me of milk cans (expensive) and then bought huge nuts at the hardware store (cheaper). I am thinking that I might cover the nuts with polymer clay--one of these days. Anyways, They are small enough not to be in the way and worked like a charm! :)
Today--storms are gone and the temperature has dropped! All the windows open! Gorgeous day!! Big fluffy white clouds against a deep blue sky! Have been out on the porch reading--ahhhh!
Leah is coming over after work with some of the acrylic painting supplies and a gallon of milk for me. She is borrowing a bunch of craft supplies to bring over to her place for her Shaklee meeting tonight. They are going to be working on constructing their Vision Books, so they need to borrow glues and scissors and punches and such. I could have gone over and joined them tonight, but I don't want to push it with my arm since it is just about back to normal (hardly burns at all).
Anyways, excited to have the paints back here again! Right now I am off to read on the porch some more. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The sun stayed out long enough for me to do a cleaning yesterday morning. Confession: I took so long to clean the tank since last time that I could easily do another cleaning next week, too. (I drain out half the water and refill.) Poor fish.
I finally finished the drawing of Grandma's doll yesterday, too--so I am done with one side of the page spread in my EDM moleskine sketchbook. I was shocked that it has been almost a month since I finished the last challenge. Life just gets in the way, sometimes. Hopefully will get some more done today. :)
I woke up dreaming about Chinese brush painting--hehe! In my dream I was painting the little red-striped shrimp that I used to have in my salt water aquarium many years ago. Might have to try that one day.
I have also been looking around the apartment the last couple days and thinking as to what I could possibly use for paper weights for the rice paper--to no avail. But it came to me in a dream during the night--I scribbled it down so I wouldn't forget (always have paper and pen by the bed)---I can use the weights I have for sewing! TaDa! I have these metal weights that I used for the old Stretch and Sew patterns--somewhere in my three banker boxes that are filled with sewing supplies in the bedroom closet. And I was dreaming that I had covered the weights with polymer clay and baked them--made little critter weights or flowers or shapes--something like that? I had made several of them--all different--and think I was trying to make a toad in the dream--hehe! Was going to paint them when they were all baked.
Anyways, I guess I can definitely do some more playing around today. Arm is doing fine!!!! I am so grateful. Small joys, eh? :):):)

Monday, June 25, 2007


This is what the tangle of plants looked like floating on the top of the aquarium.

This is how it looked after I trimmed the plants.

I laid them out to dry. Saved them for papermaking, of course. They ended up in the "dead plants" box in the hall closet--hehe!

Later on I practiced my orchids on the brown paper towels some more. Then decided to try to paint some orchids directly onto some watercolor cardstock that I had. Was so weird! After working on the absorbant paper towels, this felt dead and unmoveable--hard to explain. I will not try sumi-e/Chinese brush painting on watercolor paper again. I'll have to use oriental paper, tear them out, and glue them to cardstock.

Anyways, obviously my arm is feeling better. Today I am hoping to clean the aquarium with the Python when the sun comes up. The light will shine in onto the tank and I will be able to see well (you can't have the aquarium light on while you clean). That is my goal for today. The poor fish have needed the tank cleaned for some time. Then I won't feel guilty about other things I should be doing while I play with my art projects--hehe! The only thing that would stop me is if it is a dark day. I need the sunlight to see what I am doing in the gravel.
I am still on slightly strange hours--working my way around the clock. Slept from 7pm till 4am. I have to admit I am sleeping really well--for me. :) Dreaming a lot, too. After thinking about using the dead plants yesterday--I was dreaming about making my little booklets for letters with the handmade paper this morning--sewing them together with embroidery thread. Guess I should be doing that one day here pretty soon. Really need the arm in good shape for that! Looking forward to it!
Happy Monday!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday- 7am

Forgot yesterday--one of the bowls is out on the porch to hold water for Karma in this 90 degree weather. In the winter it will probably be used for paint water--who knows?

This morning is the first morning that my arm hasn't burned right away when I started typing--tada! So, I think I can actually play with something today!! Finally! It is hard to be good sometimes.

I was in bed at 8:15pm and up at 4:15am. Really been up to greet the dawn lately, that's for sure. Strange for me. Nice to be on some kind of day schedule, tho. I am enjoying it!

Right now, tho--I am headed out on the porch to read with Karma before it gets really hot. (90s predicted for today again.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Good morning! This is the additonal little pot that Dagan dropped off after work yesterday. Perfect size for a pencil/pen cup!

I haven't seen much of Dagan and Leah for the past couple of weeks, so I am posting for them, especially, to show them what I used where. Leah said to use them for whatever I wanted to. The candle holder that Leah said she made just for me (big grin) went up on top of the bookcase where I can see it if I am watching TV or working on crafts.

Two of the pots replaced four of my pen cups over by the computer. I put folded paper towels under them for now. Some of them need to be filed down a little on the bottoms and she hasn't had any time for that yet.

The skinnier ones were immediately filled with paint brushes.

The big blue one replaced two cups worth of art pens. The one Dagan delivered replaced the white cup you see in the above photo. I love using this old lazy susan for holding craft supplies on the table! Makes them so much easier for me to reach and it just feels more organized, I guess--hehe!

I just couldn't use the brown and white bowl for paint/ink water. It is just too pretty and I am afraid the paint or the ink will stain the white side of the bowl, if nothing else. So, for now--I filled it with wintergreen lifesavers!

These two I am ready to try out for painting water today. The smaller one for clean water and the larger one for rinsing. I don't think the paint/ink should stain the shiny surfaces. Feels decadent to be using such beautiful bowls for painting! :) Makes me think I best paint something really nice, eh?

Supposed to be another hot and humid day today. Low 90s the next couple of days. One extreme to the next, it seems. Hope it is a great day for you--wherever you are. :)

Friday, June 22, 2007


Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the porch writing a letter and reading. Need my pillow and lap desk to do that. Was a gorgeous morning and afternoon!

I have been on crazy hours--unheard of when I had Gracie, of course. Sleeping whenever I am tired is a luxury I am still not quite used to. Leah emailed me that she needed to borrow some dishwasher soap some time after work. I warned her I might be sleeping, but that everything for them was in the wall pocket by the door.

I konked out from 4pm until 5:30 this morning! On days all of a sudden--love it! And I found a few surprises when I woke up. Leah brought over pots from her pottery class she took!! I am so proud of her--wow! This is her first time trying pottery and I think they are awesome!

So proud that I am putting up a picture of each and every one of them!!

One is a candle holder--even has a circular ridge on the inside bottom to set the votive in so it doesn't slide around!

We had talked about using the pots she made to hold brushes or to use them for water for painting, etc. But they seem too nice! We would feel pretty darn fancy using these, eh? We'll have to study on them and decide how we will want to use them. I could use the taller thinner two for brushes, tho--I know that. I think they are great and just had to brag on my talented daughter-in-law!! (Leah these are beautiful!!)
Also, Leah dropped off the two grocery/shopping bags that a friend of hers sewed up for me. I can fold one up and bring it with me if I go shopping on the bus. I need a shoulder bag because I can't carry with my left arm--so these are perfect to slip the straps over my head and be able to carry quite a bit home by myself. I can also bring them with when I go shopping with Dagan and/or Leah so that I can carry things up by myself from the car when they drop me off. Nice! Anything that helps me be more independent, right? Cool!
What a surprise! Slept till morning and found all this--wow! What a way to start the day!! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Karma watching people leave for work this morning about 7am. We have been up all night and sleeping from afternoon till like midnight--crazy hours! Crazier than before--hehe!

Karma was obviously a little tired this morning.....

...but the swooping swallows are worth skipping another nap--hehe!

Another bright sunny morning. Supposed to be hot by this afternoon, tho--just like yesterday. Scattered thunderstorms, tho--again--this afternoon, too. Rain--rain--rain! We could use some more sunny time to dry things out around here.
I have been being good and watching movies. Last night I watched The Good German:
U.S. Army correspondent Jake Geismar (George Clooney) gets caught in a web of intrigue involving ex-flame Lena (Cate Blanchett) in Steven Soderbergh's drama set in post-World War II Berlin. Lena's missing husband is hunted by U.S. and Russian military, and in desperation, she looks to Jake for a way out. Tension mounts as Jake discovers Lena's been keeping secrets and the black market dealings of his shady driver (Tobey Maguire) come into play.
It was really put together to look and sound like one of the old movies from the 40s--even the way they did the credits. I got a kick out of it because I like the old black and white movies--and that way they could take actual newsreels from back then and insert them seamlessly into the film. It was weird to see Toby Maguire play such a creep. He was good at it! I think he was only in the first half hour of the film, but he was memorable. George Clooney--he really had "the look" from that time--could have fit right in back then! The ending had a Cassablanca-like spin to it. Just was a bit of camp--yet serious enough and filled with plot twists--was pretty good.
I also watched Serenity. I had rented the Firefly series and was so disappointed that it had been cancelled. Apparently so were a lot of fans. They made this movie to tie things up for the many, many fans of the series--and it was really good! Loved it!
Picking up where his cult show "Firefly" left off, writer-director Joss Whedon's tale of galactic unrest follows Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), captain of the transport ship Serenity, and his scrappy but loyal crew. When the ship picks up two new passengers -- fugitives from the powerful coalition ruling the universe -- "Mal" and his mates find themselves at the center of a cosmic conflict, pursued by military forces and space-roaming savages.
Today I have a couple more movies to watch. I may test out my arm a little before I fall asleep this afternoon/early evening. (I am quite literally sleeping my way around the clock.) Just glad to sleep whenever I am able to with this crazy menopause--hehe! I may be sleeping odd hours--but I am sleeping again--hurray!! :):)
That's about it from Fargo for today. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


My student easel is up now and I have room to put a TV tray to the right of me to hold a palette, too! It was really weird with it being a big empty space there, so it feels better to have something completely different in that spot.

I knew Karma would want to lie on that bottom shelf and, since it is a folding shelf and not an expensive easel in the first place, I was afraid it might break. I looked around for something to support it from underneath--the sturdy red box the brush set came in almost fit. I folded a towel and put that on top of it--perfect! Now Karma can lie there if she wants to and not bend or break anything. :)

Really odd thing....??? I had always had a full-spectrum light bulb in the lamp up on the bookcase over Gracie ever since I brought her home almost five years ago, right? Went to turn the lamp on last night for the first time since she left--burnt out! Dead as a doornail! Strange, eh? It has worked every single day for five years.....???

Another bright sunny morning! I have been up and down--sleeping whenever I am tired. Really, truly can sleep or nap whenever I want to, as long as I want to! I still can't quite belive it, but I am really appreciating it! Resting my arm, being good. Getting antsy to do something artsy (sumi-e painting, sketching, etc) but I should wait until tomorrow or Friday--see how the arm is doing. *sigh* Thank goodness I have some Netflix movies coming today in the mail. :) Such a beautiful day!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


My view from the porch this morning! Yes--the porch!! The carpet is dry and the weather has cooled off. Karma and I spent a gorgeous morning out here!! First time without Gracie eeping nervously at us from the little green cage on the porch or screeching and calling from the living room until we came back in. Most enjoyable and peaceful time ever on the porch. :)
I got an email from Lois. I had asked her how Gracie was doing. She said that Gracie was happy and being ardently pursued by "Woody" who was singing his little heart out to her and following her around--but she was still in shock and not responding to him yet. She is with seven other cockatiels! (Some will be adopted and more will arrive over time.) I'm hoping that once she settles down (she's a born nervous Nellie) that Woody will win her over. She is very happy to be with the other birds, tho. I thought she be thrilled to meet a "real boy"--but Woody coming at her is just as scary as a human hand, I guess. Well, not quite. She isn't threatening him or biting him--hehe! It made me feel so good to hear that Miss Gracie is happy as part of a flock! :)
Caroline is coming this afternoon. It is so nice to have all the windows open and the porch door open--ahhhh!!! I will go sit on the porch while she vacuums and be out of her way. :)
I got the trash gathered and ready for her. This morning I wheeled down the box of brown paper towels to the storage area. That's about it for the arm for today. In a couple of days it should be better. I haven't gotten it to burning like this for a long, long time. Dumb! I should have known better than to have cleaned all those brushes at the same time. That is what set it off. My own fault.
Since I have been feeling a little better (due to Shaklee and The Secret), I seem to be going thru some kind of reverse learning process. I can do a little more, so I am finding out by trial and error just how much more I can do. Kind of like when I was finding out just how much less I could do by trial and error years ago--hehe! I misjudge and pay for it for a while. At least these days it is because I am slowly able to do more!! :):) I get excited and overestimate what I am capable of. Got to back down a bit, I guess. Take it a little slower--hehe!
Anyways, it is a beautiful, sunny day! Have a good one!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Since I was good all weekend, I was able to finish cleaning the cage and playpen this morning. Dagan is coming over during his lunch break and going to help me get these two and the boxes of toys down to the garage while it is not raining. (We had loud thunderstorms rolling through all night.) I'll roll the boxes down on my little green cart. I'll let Dagan do the pushing of these two. My arm is due for R&R again--but I am done--finished cleaning them! TaDa! So--gotta go....later.... :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


This is what I've been doing little by little since Gracie left. Can you tell my birds always had a lot of toys rotated in their cages? This is years of accumulation--and most of the really big parrot toys are stored in the garage!! The plastic container that Karma is lolling in was filled with toys and was kept on the shelf under the playpen. I moved all those toys into a banker's box. All the toys from the playpen and the cage pretty much filled another box. Now I have a nice empty plastic storage box--a large one, too. I can always use storage boxes--hehe!

The playpen in the bedroom--stripped down for cleaning.

Assotment of things drying in the sink will add a little more to the toy boxes..

The big cage stripped down for cleaning.

That is as far as I got by yesterday. Next I have to take a bucket of soapy water and sit and clean all the bars and all the nooks and crannies on the cage and the playpen--clean off all the various trays and grates (which are waiting for me propped up in the hallway by the door)--and then I can roll them all the way down to the garage. Maybe Monday I'll start scrubbing them down...kind of did a lot the last couple days...for me.
I am thinking I might actually put up my easel in that spot! I have never had a place for it to be up permanently before. I'll have to see how it looks and if Miss Karma will leave paintings alone while they dry--hehe!
I just remembered--I have Caroline coming to clean on Tuesday. If I have everything cleaned and ready to go, she could help me push them down to the garage! Dagan and Leah have been so busy lately. It's just a harder thing to do basically one-handed. My weak arm just isn't good at gripping, pushing, pulling, or carrying. Can do things for brief little periods of time, but if I over do it I can put it out--and then it's in a sling for days and the pain gets so sharp I can't sleep. I watch it pretty carefully and haven't pushed it to that point for a long time. When the wrist starts to burn (like it does now half way to my elbow from all the puttering with the cages for two days)--just have to basically stop using it.

This is how my life goes--hehe! I need to rest my arm today--and the shoulders/back/etc from the fibro, too, need a break for a couple of days. If I am cleaning the cage (big project for me these days--used to be a no-brainer--never gave it a thought--cages, tanks, whatever) then I can't paint or draw or do much of anything while my body readjusts and calms down inbetween the cleaning sessions. And I have to pay attention to the arm pain so I don't go over the limit and to the fibro pain, too. But in this case--the arm pain has top priority.

If I can get them cleaned by Tuesday--fine. If the body doesn't cooperate--fine. I'll just wait until Dagan and/or Leah can come and help me push them to the garage. Or give my arm a good long break for a week or so and bring the cage down one day and wait and wheel the playpen down a day or so later. I can do them myself. It just takes so much longer. My impatience. It is frustrating to deal with. You'd think I was as old as my dad (86). He'd do better than I would with these projects! Sad, eh?

This is my "normal" life.

So, with all my props and aides (so that I avoid using my left arm) I am able to sit in my lounger and read or hand write letters a little at a time--but that will be about it for the weekend. I am typing very slowly--one-handed right now. My shoulders are buring. I may not be blogging tomorrow, but you'll know why--just resting my touchy body--hehe! I'm fine, tho. TTYL........ :)